92 MY COUNTRY AND MY PEOPLE decided he would go abroad rather than stay and see his sweetheart become the bride of another person. So he made up a pretext and informed his uncle that he had to go away to the capital. As the uncle could not persuade him to stay, he gave him money and presents and prepared a fare- well feast for him. Wang Chou, sad to take leave of his lover, was thinking it all over while he partook of the feast, and he told himself that it was best to go, rather than remain to carry on a hopeless romance. So Wang Ghou set out on a boat of an afternoon, and before he had gone a few miles it was already dark and he told the boatman to tie up the boat along shore and rest for the night. That night he could not sleep, and toward midnight he heard the sound of quick footsteps approaching. In a few minutes the sound had drawn near the boat. He got up and inquired, " Who is there at this hour of the night?" "It is I, even Ch'ienniang," was the reply. Surprised and delighted beyond his expectations, he led her down to the boat, and there she told him that she had hoped to be his wife, that her father had been unfair to him, and that she could not bear parting from him. She was afraid, too, that he, lonely and travelling in strange parts, might be driven to take his own life. So she had braved the censure of society and the anger of her parents and come to follow him where- ever he should go. Thus they were happy together and continued their journey to Szechuen. Five years passed happily and she bore him two sons. But they had no news from the family, and she was daily thinking of her parents. It was the only thing that marred their happiness. She did not know whether her parents were living and well or not, and one night she began telling Wang Chou how unhappy she was and that since she was the only child, she felt guilty of great filial impiety to leave the old parents thus. "This is your filial piety/5 said her husband. "I am with you in thinking this way. But it seems that now after five years have passed, surely they are not still angry with us. Why not go home?" Ch'ienniang was overjoyed to hear this, and so they made preparations to go home with their two children.